Morning Headlines: State COVID-19 Pandemic Map Going Away; FirstEnergy Fires Another Top Executive
Here are your morning headlines for Friday, May 28:
- State COVID-19 pandemic map going away
- FirstEnergy fires executive over consulting contract
- Biden visits Cleveland, warns GOP on hindering infrastructure plan
- East Liverpool man arrested in connection with Capitol riot
- Cleveland RTA ends year in black thanks to federal stimulus
- Aimee Wade named to head Summit ADM Board
- Cleveland tops Tigers 5-2, 700th victory for Francona as manager
State COVID-19 pandemic map going away
A visual centerpiece of the pandemic is going away. The Ohio Department of Health is switching off the online COVID-19 map which showed the spread of the disease, county-by-county during the pandemic. Ohio Dept. of Health Director Stephanie McCloud says the map showing severity from yellow to purple was helpful when the pandemic was at its highest point. But now, she says state leaders are considering other indicators. Most of the statewide coronavirus health orders will expire on June 2nd but she says the state is looking for a way to continue some protocols in nursing homes and skilled health facilities
FirstEnergy fires executive over consulting contract inaction
FirstEnergy has fired an executive for her “inaction” regarding an amendment to a company consulting contract with someone who was later appointed as the state's top utility regulator. Eileen Mikkelsen is the sixth executive to be dismissed from the company since the U.S. Justice Department announced FirstEnergy had secretly funded a $60 million bribery scheme to win legislative approval for a billion-dollar subsidy for two nuclear plants. In a securities filing, FirstEnergy says Mikkelsen, who was a vice president was “separated” yesterday. A FirstEnergy spokesperson declined to comment. CEO Chuck Jones and two senior vice presidents were fired last October.
Biden visits Cleveland, warns GOP on hindering infrastructure plan
President Joe Biden is warning opponents in Congress not to “get in the way” of his big infrastructure plans. And the White House is planning a counteroffer from Republican senators to tap unused COVID-19 relief for a more modest investment in roads, highways, and other traditional public works projects. Biden made the comments while in Cleveland where he toured the manufacturing technology center at Tri-C. After his visit, he held up a card with the names of Republican lawmakers who had rejected his coronavirus aid bill in Washington but later promoted its assistance when they were back home. Biden is warning them not to play similar games as he pushes this next legislative priority in Congress.
East Liverpool man arrested in connection with Capitol riot
An Ohio man has been arrested in Alabama for allegedly convening a caravan of people from Virginia to Washington D.C. on Jan. 6 and assaulting police officers on Capitol grounds. Kenneth Joseph Owen Thomas, of East Liverpool was arrested on preliminary charges that include assaulting, resisting, or impeding law enforcement officers, obstruction of law enforcement during civil disorder, and engaging in physical violence on U.S. Capitol grounds. Federal agents were able to identify Thomas after a neighbor and an online investigative group tipped them to his social media posts and videos. At least two-dozen people from Ohio have now been arrested in connection with the riot at the Capitol.
Cleveland RTA ends year in black thanks to federal stimulus
Greater Cleveland RTA is expected to end the year in the black, thanks to federal stimulus funding. Crain's Cleveland Business reports that RTA’s general manager of finance told a board meeting earlier this week the agency was expected to have a loss of $50 million this year and almost $47 million next year. Instead, RTA is projected to have a balance of nearly $159 million this year and $180 million in the following year. Crain's reports ridership was down by half during the pandemic. The board was told this week it may take a few years to get back to pre-COVID levels.
Aimee Wade named to head Summit ADM Board
Summit County’s Addiction and Mental Health Services Board has named its new executive director. The Akron Beacon Journal reports the board voted unanimously to make the job permanent for interim director Aimee Wade. Wade has been with the ADM board for a decade. She replaces Jerry Craig who stepped down earlier this year to be a director with the Community Support Network which has mental health programs in Cuyahoga, Mahoning, and Lake counties.
Cleveland tops Tigers 5-2, 700th victory for Francona as manager
Shane Bieber struck out 12 in seven one-hit innings as Cleveland beat the Detroit Tigers 5-2. For Terry Francona, this was his 700th victory as Cleveland’s manager.